Tell us about your latest book. I love superheroes and the idea of becoming more than we are. I like how the lines between good and evil are clearly drawn. Think Lex Luthor and Superman. There’s no question who the bad guy is. There’s no question Superman has a sense of nobility and honor. I’ve tried to endow my characters with these same traits but they’re still regular people with regular problems, they’re still 20 something’s trying to figure out who they are and where they’re going.
Where did the idea for the book come from? My original idea was much different. I had this idea of a nerdy guy who believed he had superpowers, but everyone around him thinks he’s crazy. The idea was based on both a dream I had and very loosely on a book I read years ago called ‘Harry and Hortense at Hormone High’ by Paul Zindel. It’s about a boy who believes he’s Icarus reincarnated. I sat down and wrote the first 5 chapters until I realized they were total shit. It didn’t have any of the graphic novel noir feel I wanted, none of the humor or darkness. So I scraped it all and started over. What resulted is ‘The Blue Effect.’ The only thing left from the original are the names of the characters. Not that I’m complaining because I love what its become.
Who and what inspire you to write? That should be an easy question, shouldn’t it? For me, it isn’t. I can tell you that I was a little precocious as a child and I learned to read at a very young age. I can’t remember ever NOT being able to read. I always loved books and living in another world for a few hours. I was always writing stories and poetry, or just making them up in my head. The only consistent dream I’ve ever had in my life is to be a writer, and hopefully make a living doing it. I don’t think there was ever one person or book that inspired me, rather all of them, every book and author I loved helped cement the desire to be one of them.
Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing? As I talked about in question 3, it was something I did from a young age. That said, I made some questionable choices as a young adult. As a result, I focused a lot on working to survive and raising 2 kids. I let myself get discouraged and for a few years I stopped writing altogether. I told myself I’d let too much time pass and my chances had come and gone, My own little pity party. Then, a few years ago, I became friends with a woman who showed me that the only person stopping me was me. Jennifer Malone Wright(look for her at www.jenniferwrightauthor.com) has inspired me with her dedication to her craft and how she is always striving to learn and be better than she was the day before. So, I picked up a pen and paper and began writing again. I finished my first novel (which she insists I should publish and I very well may one of these days), then began working on another, then another. I have a number of projects that may or may not make it to the light of day, but I know now that I’ll never quit working on this again. This is where I belong.
What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing? How about an unexpected down side? I have loved and hated and cried and laughed each time I’ve sat down and created these people and worlds. Just like raising children. Recently, I watched my youngest boy walk across a huge stage and accept his high school diploma. I cried. Copiously. My tears were for all the years getting to that point, his accomplishment, knowing I had something to do with it, his wide open future, the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of another, the relief and disappointment of it all being over, realizing that my job as a mother and raising children must now change, and on and on and on. How many emotions can you feel at the same time? I guess what I’m saying is that the upside and the downside are kind of the same thing for me. My stories are part of me and in letting them go, the victory and the tragedy exists at the same time.
Do you have any writing rituals? I don’t really think so, although I’m kind of OCD so everything I do may be ritualistic!
Do you write your books in order? This book is the first in a 3 book series. I’ve been writing them in order, but there have been seeds planted in the first book that will grow and flourish in the next two. I have other projects I’ve been working on, only one of them a series.
What is on your writing playlist for this book? Oh boy. A lot. I have playlists for each book in the series (Blue has 2 playlists!). I also make playlists for moods, happy, sad, angry etc. I think for Blue’s, however, her personal anthem is a song called ‘Not A Pretty Girl’ by Ani Difranco. There’s also a song called ‘Skinny Love’ by Birdy that seems to make it into almost all my playlists (except the happy ones). It’s so sad and sweet.
Any favorite writing snacks? I’ll admit to slipping some Bailey’s in my coffee sometimes.
What advice would you give writers who aspire to be published? Keep working and learning. Especially the learning bit. Get involved with other writer’s. I found groups in my city, and the friendships and contacts I’ve made have been invaluable. Take advice and critique. And never give up on yourself.
Are you working on anything new right now? Yes. I’m working on book two of the Renegade Heroes series. The first book was written from Blue’s perspective. The second will be from the perspective of one of the other main characters. We’ll be able to climb into his head as he comes face to face with his past and must battle his own demons. Book two is going to be even darker than the first. There will be a new hero introduced, a new love interest for one of the characters. The tension will be more tension-y. The action more action-y. The villain more villain-y.
Who is your favorite character in your current book? Blue. Definitely Blue. She’s so flawed and so contentious but still relatable. Every time she opens her mouth and says something shocking I love her a little more. There is so much of me in her it almost feels like cheating because she’s so easy to write. The biggest difference between me and Blue is that I keep my mouth shut far more often. That said, writing her has made me appreciate my own quirks and flaws more.
What is your favorite book of all time? Seriously? One book? I can narrow it down to five: The Stand by Stephen King, Watership Down by Richard Adams, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore, The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your book. Superheroes are timeless and have existed in myth and legend since the beginning of storytelling, but the ultimate heroes are ordinary people just like you and me, which is what my story is all about.
When she meets the mysterious Kasey, her world stops on its axis… literally. He claims she has the ability to control time and stuns her even further when he reveals his own gifts.
Blue is inexplicably drawn to Kasey and reluctantly enters his world filled with a new breed of humanity, each with amazing powers of their own. They’re misfits like her, blessed or cursed with powerful abilities, struggling to hide their differences while pitting their powers against injustice.
Then the group discovers the existence of a nameless, faceless sociopath with nightmarish powers, and his sights are set on Blue. But Blue and her unique gifts are not only his target, they are also the key to defeating him and saving them all.
Now she must race against the clock to harness her own powers and save her new friends. Can she be more than a renegade? Can she be a hero too?
The best debut novel I’ve read in years. Blue is the type of unique, honest, protagonist usually only experienced in Stephen King novels. The Blue Effect was part Fight Club, part X-Men and sucked me in from the very first chapter to the very last word. Powerfully written with a compelling plot and wicked antagonist. Couldn’t ask for anything more – except the sequel! – Robert Dugoni, NY Times Best Selling Author – My Sister’s Grave
About the author:
Rose Shababy and her family reside in eastern Washington State. Rose grew up in the Northwest but swears she’s going to move to warmer climates someday. She’s claimed this for over 20 years, however, and has yet to move more than 75 miles away from her mother.
Rose has a deep love of all things Star Trek and yearns to travel the heavens, as well as an intense desire to be bitten by a radioactive spider. Unfortunately she sucks at science and math so she hasn’t been able bring her dreams to life, instead living vicariously through books, comics, television and film. She hopes to someday make a million dollars so she can afford to buy her way to the international space station, but she’d settle for being able to fly around the world and leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Rose also loves to cook and worked for years in a gourmet Italian grocery and deli where she learned to hone her skills. She prepares culinary masterpieces for her family, but fervently wishes the dishes would wash themselves. Especially now that her dishwashers/children are nearly grown and only one still lives at home.
Rose likes to use her free time wisely. For instance, she likes to daydream, will often read for hours until she falls asleep on the couch with an electric blanket and a warm tabby cat curled up on her hip, as well as spending cozy weekend days watching Syfy movies like Sharknado and Mega Piranha with her husband.
If Rose were a cartoon animal, she’d prefer to be a wise old owl or a sleek and sexy jaguar, but in reality she’d probably be a myopic mole with coke-bottle glasses.